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by Steve Andersen of drf.com

Del Mar stakes schedule has familiar look
- HORSE RACING, ARCADIA, Calif. – The stakes schedule at the summer meeting at Del Mar, which runs from July 17 to Sept. 2, is very similar to those of recent seasons.

The track announced a calendar of 40 stakes, one fewer than last year, with the $75,000 CERF Stakes having been dropped. The race was run on Labor Day weekend in the past.

The purses for six overnight races have been raised $10,000 to $85,000. Otherwise, the purse structure for stakes is largely unchanged. There are five Grade 1 races, led by the $1 million Pacific Classic at 1 1/4 miles for 3-year-olds and up on Aug. 17. There are five stakes on the Aug. 17 program, including the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks at 1 1/8 miles on turf for 3-year-old fillies and the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap at 1 3/8 miles on turf for 3-year-olds and up.

The Pacific Classic program will include the Grade 3 Green Flash Handicap at five furlongs on turf. The $100,000 Green Flash has received a $25,000 boost and has been graded for the first time.

Two stakes for California-bred 2-year-olds, the Generous Portion Stakes for fillies on Aug. 28 and the I’m Smokin Stakes on Aug. 30, will no longer be restricted to horses who had not won a stakes worth $50,000 to the winner.

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